I can’t be the only one who gets a little jealous while scrolling through the endless scenes of European holidays all over my Instagram Explore page. If, like me, you didn’t summer in Paris or Amsterdam, there’s a new cafe now open in The Pearls Mall that offers a similar experience. Welcome to the quaint Milk & Cookies…
After spending many vacations strolling the streets of European cities, the owners of Milk & Cookies were inspired by their travels and the cute cafes they visited. The trio wanted to recreate this experience in their own hometown and banded together to open a truly aesthetic cafe with a welcoming atmosphere and a unique food and drink offering. We were invited to have a taste of what Milk & Cookies is all about, and it was definitely a sweet treat.
Milk & Cookies is hard to miss, with enchanting pink panelling framing the front door. Once you step inside, you’re transported to a French patisserie decorated in pink and sage, with soft, plush chairs, colourful wallpaper and ambient lighting. “We wanted to create a calming, inviting space, so we went with pastel colours,” says the founders. This is important as Milk & Cookies is actually a pro-CBD cafe, where you have the option to make any of their beverages CBD-infused. “This is an aesthetically pleasing environment where you can gain the health benefits of CBD, such as reduced stress and better sleep. We even sell CBD-infused Nespresso coffee pods!”
Speaking of coffee, the cafe has a wide range of beverages to enjoy. Alongside the usual lattes and cappuccinos (expertly made by Pearl, their head barista), chocolate lovers are in for a treat with their pink hot chocolate and Lindt hot chocolate (you drop in a Lindt milk chocolate truffle for that extra rich taste!). Various imported and local teas also feature on their menu, including distinct flavours such as cinnamon and ginger and hibiscus and rose.
Sweet and savoury, Milk & Cookies covers all tastes and textures. Their mini chicken and spinach and feta quiches are the perfect delicious snack, while the wraps and open sandwiches are ideal lunch choices. We tried their tasty spicy chicken and halloumi wraps, both made with only the freshest ingredients. The open sandwiches are loaded with scrumptious toppings – smashed avo and cherry tomatoes as well as salmon, cream cheese and dill.
This patisserie is the place to indulge in decadent and novelty baked goods, and we were absolutely blown away by their sweet delights. Macaroons of all flavours and Lotus Biscoff, chocolate and almond and coconut mini cakes – each treat was baked to perfection. However, we were really wowed by their no-bake cheesecake drenched in a warm Lotus Biscoff sauce. Delicious!
A signature dish on their menu is the croissant cone – a crispy croissant filled with creamy strawberry or pistachio ice cream. Milk & Cookies is the only place in KZN that offers this quirky dessert, and the different textures deliciously complement each other. The true show-stopper was the Milk & Cookies cake. A vanilla sponge cake with buttercream frosting and decorated with chocolate chip cookies and mini Oreos, this cake is an experience in and of itself. A plastic ring is placed around the cake and white chocolate sauce is poured on the top. When served, the ring is removed, allowing the sauce to cascade down the sides of the cake. Not only was the cake fluffy and had just the right amount of sweetness, but it looked amazing too.
Keep an eye out because the owners will soon be adding a book club to their cafe to encapsulate the full European experience, starting with their “telephone booth” filled with books that can be borrowed. With adorable decor and yummy bites, Milk & Cookies is definitely Umhlanga’s newest must-visit spot.
Words: Jordyn Trollip